Rare Books Room FAQs

Is it possible to check out Rare Books Room materials?


Special collections materials are for use in the Rare Books Room only. These materials are Reference and do not circulate.


May I bring my backpack or bag in with me?


You may bring in your personal items, but will need to check them in at the front desk. You may take a pencil, paper and your smartphone with you into the Reading Room.


Do I need special gloves to handle materials? Do I need to wash my hands?


Special gloves are used for photographs only. We do request that patrons wash their hands before entering the Rare Books Room. When you check in at the Information Desk, staff can instruct you on where to go to wash your hands. Clean hands are important to keep materials dirt free and prolong their life.


May I use a pencil or pen?

The use of pens is not allowed. Pencils are allowed for note-taking purposes only. 

Do you have cradles or weights available to view rare items?

We do have book cradles and weights to use for support and to help hold bound materials open. Kindly ask for assistance.

May I take photos with my smartphone?

Readers may take photographs without the use of flash for research purposes only, with no extraordinary manipulation of the object for photography. Please refer to our digital/smartphone policy.

Do you have a scanner or photocopier available for use?

Please ask staff if you require any scanning or photocopying of material. Scanning or photocopying may or may not be possible and is on a case-by-case basis.

What if I need to leave the Reading Room and return later?

Please alert staff if you need to leave the Reading Room and you have plans to return.